APPLY HERE BY NOV 1, 2023
Insectary Assistant at UC Davis
Under general supervision, perform DNA extraction using an automated extraction instrument. Assess DNA samples for quantity and quality using an Agilent Technologies TapeStation and genotyping using a MassArray instrument and the associated software to score individual genotypes; proof-reading chromatographs and entering data into a web-based database. Work as part of a research team under the direction of the insectary manager studying the population genomics of mosquito vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Responsibilities include maintenance and safety of laboratory insectaries, including rearing mosquito strains, ordering insectary supplies, maintaining insectary equipment, and troubleshooting insect rearing protocols. The insectary assistant will travel annually to field sites in São Tomé & Príncipe (west Africa) and, possibly, other sites in Africa for up to 6 weeks at a time to assist with Anopheles mosquito collections, sample processing, and field laboratory setup.
- Work flexible schedule including rotating weekends and occasional holidays.
- Work in areas where hazardous materials and potential infectious disease agents (malaria parasite from field collected mosquitoes) are present.
- Work at, and travel to, field sites in tropical Africa.
- Work in open cubicle area where noise from others is present.
- UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any UC Davis owned or leased property, indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.
- BS in biological sciences or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Experience rearing mosquitoes or other arthropod species in an ACL 2/BSL 2 insectary.
- Experience conducting field work on mosquitoes or other aquatic invertebrates.
- Experience performing standard molecular techniques including DNA extraction, PCR, and ELISA
- Experience with maintenance of controlled environment chambers such as Darwin Chambers.
- Skills to visually identify various mosquito species.
- Strong organizational skills with the ability to follow detailed instructions on the conduct of lab protocols.
- Experience rearing Anopheles and/or Aedes mosquitoes and skills to troubleshoot rearing difficult strains.
- Experience using artificial feeding systems such as the Hemotek membrane feeding system.
- Background in ecology, entomology, and/or conservation biology.
- Skills to successfully extract reproductive organs from male and female mosquitoes.
The VGL was featured in a New York Times article by Stephanie Nolan who joined the team on their latest Mark-Release-Recapture trip in Príncipe. Read the article here.
Greg, Ana, and Danspaid will be attending the 2023 PAMCA conference in September. Greg and Danspaid will be presenting about UCMI work and Ana will host a symposium titled “Field Trials of Malaria Vectors Engineered with Gene-Drive: If Not Now, When?” Greg will also teach at the Gene Drive Short Course pre-conference event. Greg, Ana and Danspaid will be joined at the conference by UCMI contractors Lodney Nazaré and Adionilde Pires.
Check out former lab member, Shaghayegh’s, paper about Aedes aegypti populations in California. Congratulations to Shaghayegh and coauthors! https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-023-09402-5
Undergraduates Ariana Hosseini and Brooke Borgia presented at the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities Conference on April 28 and 29th. Ariana presented a poster titled “Interactions between genetically engineered Anopheles mosquitoes and their vertebrate predators” and Brook gave a talk titled “Widespread hybridization events between three sister species of Anopheles gambiae complex in Mali.” Ariana’s presentation of her poster can be viewed HERE.
April 25 is World Malaria Day. A day that reminds us of the importance of the work we are doing. Danspaid Maanda is featured today as one of 7 gene drive researchers on the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Blog discussing the importance of their work in the fight against malaria. UCMI is also featured today on Tela Non, a prominent STP news outlet / electronic journal.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Vector Population Biology
The Vector Genetics Lab (VGL) at the University of California, Davis has a post-doctoral position available for a highly motivated candidate with a background in population biology, including strengths in ecology and/or genetics. The VGL is dedicated to research and training in the areas of ecology, population & molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics of insect vectors of human and animal disease. We have developed a program aimed at expanding knowledge that may be applied to improving control of disease vectors and that also addresses problems of interest in the field of evolutionary biology. See details at: https://vectorgeneticslab.ucdavis.edu/
Postdoctoral Scholar: Mathematical Modeling for Gene-Drive Trials
Gene drive technologies offer the promise of managing targeted populations for the benefit of public health, agriculture, and the environment. A gene drive system, when introduced into a wild-type population, will rapidly increase toward fixation by altering normal Mendelian inheritance in favor of the transgene. We are proposing a field test aimed at using gene drive to eliminate human malaria in Africa. The system being developed by our team uses an autonomous Cas9-based gene drive coupled with two anti-malaria parasite genes aimed at eliminating malaria transmission by rendering the mosquito vector refractory to the parasite. This is referred to as a population modification or population replacement strategy which eliminates the parasite but not the mosquito.
Greg and Ana are traveling to Seattle, WA to attend and present at the ASTMH annual meeting. Greg will present “UCMI – progress in the conduct of an ecologically confined field trial” on Oct 31.
Welcome to our new insectary assistant, Ivan Mugeni Mulongo
Greg and Ana are traveling to Kigali, Rwanda to attend and present at Informal Brainstorming Session on Early Gene Drive Field Trials on Sept 22, Gene Drive Short Course on Sept 23-25 and the Pan-Africa Mosquito Control Association annual meeting on Sept 26-29.
Welcome to our new insectary manager, Danspaid Mabuka Maanda.
Greg and Ana are attending the Vector Kolymbari Meeting and will present on “Evolutionary dynamics of Anopheles gambiae s.l. in West and Central
Africa” and “An Engagement Model for Gene Drive Field Trials.”
The Vector Genetics Lab (VGL) at the University of California, Davis has a post-doctoral position available for a highly motivated candidate with a background in population genetics/genomics. The VGL is dedicated to research and training in the areas of population & molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics of insect vectors of human and animal disease. We have developed a program aimed at expanding knowledge that may be applied to improving control of disease vectors and that also addresses problems of interest in the field of evolutionary genetics.
Our 2022 Undergraduate Interest Seminar has been scheduled. Check out the undergrad program page for more details!
Staff Research Associate I
Under the direction of the insectary manager studying the population genomics of mosquito vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa work as part of the research team. Responsibilities include maintenance and safety of laboratory insectaries, including rearing mosquito strains, ordering insectary supplies, maintaining insectary equipment, and troubleshooting insect rearing protocols. The insectary assistant will travel annually to field sites in São Tomé & Príncipe (west Africa) and, possibly, other sites in Africa for up to 6 weeks at a time to assist with Anopheles mosquito collections, sample processing, and field laboratory setup.
An article about our project work was published in the Aggie student newspaper today. Read it here.
Apply by: Feb 13, 2022
Staff Research Associate I
Work as part of a research team under the direction of the lab manager studying the population genomics of mosquito vectors of human and animal diseases. These include Anopheles gambiae, the principal vector of human malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which is the vector of dengue and Zika viruses and is an invasive mosquito species recently established in the state of California. Duties include molecular laboratory work (DNA extractions, NGS library preparation, MassArray multiplex assays, etc.) and basic laboratory maintenance and administrative tasks such as inventorying and ordering supplies, lab equipment maintenance, regulatory compliance, etc. The lab assistant will travel annually to field sites in São Tomé & Príncipe (west Africa) and, possibly, other sites in Africa for up to 6 weeks at a time to assist with Anopheles mosquito collections, processing, extraction, and laboratory setup.
Apply by: Feb 3, 2022
Staff Research Associate II
The primary responsibility of the VGL Insectary Biologist is overseeing the operation of insectary facilities and rearing mosquito colonies. This includes maintenance and safety of laboratory insectaries, rearing mosquito strains, ordering insectary supplies, maintaining insectary equipment, and troubleshooting insect rearing protocols. In addition, the Insectary Biologist will have responsibility for designing and executing experimental work focused on live mosquitoes and for assisting with other lab member’s projects that require the use of live mosquitoes. This includes research conducted at VGL facilities in UC Davis and with our entomology team on-site in São Tomé & Príncipe (west Africa). In addition to mosquito maintenance and experimental work, the Insectary Biologist will assist with basic molecular biology work, including automated DNA extraction, high-throughput genotyping and the preparation of libraries for whole genome sequencing (training provided).
Must be available to work in Africa for periods of at least six weeks.
Dr. Iliyas Rashid’s paper “Spontaneous mutation rate estimates for the principal malaria vectors Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles stephensi” has been published online in Scientific Reports. Read it here.
The VGL field team is traveling to São Tomé and Príncipe for 3 weeks at the end of this month to conduct a Mark Release Recapture (MRR) experiment in Ribeira Afonso. Dr. João Pinto will also be joining them there and remaining in the city of São Tomé to work as the UCIMI Field Site Manager.
The partnership between UCIMI and the Ministry of Health in São Tomé and Príncipe is now officially represented on their Facebook page.
Greg, Ana, and Joao Pinto have received permission to travel internationally to São Tomé and Príncipe this month for the first time since March 2020. They will be attending lots of meetings to get our project moving on the ground again.
Congratulations to all authors on the publication of their paper, Evidence of Local Extinction and Reintroduction of Aedes aegypti in Exeter, California, in Frontiers in Tropical Diseases.
Our new BioEssays paper, “Population modification strategies for malaria vector control are uniquely resilient to observed levels of gene drive resistance alleles”, is available on line. Check it out here.
Congratulations to Melina Campos and all co-authors on the publication of their paper The origin of island populations of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles coluzzii in Communications Biology.
Our 2021 undergraduate interest seminar has been scheduled for May 21st, 2021. Head over to the program page to see details about how to RSVP.
UCIMI Team members will be conducting a series of guest lectures in May at the University of São Tomé and Príncipe for the students currently enrolled in a new Bioinformatics course. Topics include 1) population genomics in malaria vectors, 2) Bioinformatics and the analysis of mosquito samples collected in STP, and 3) Genetic strategies for malaria control and Q&A on the UCIMI program.
Welcome to our new postdoc, Robert Ditter.
Congrats to VGL undergrad Steven Palomares on his acceptance into the NSF LSAMP/California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Program for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The NSF LSAMP/CAMP program is a UC Davis undergraduate research program designed to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by offering students the chance to work on faculty-sponsored research projects relevant to their interests. CAMP offers extensive resources, organized workshops, and unique opportunities for participants to excel in their respective fields of study.
Welcome to our newest member, Will Sharpee. Will is our new Scientific Program Manager.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position
The Vector Genetics Lab (VGL) at the University of California, Davis has a post-doctoral position available for a highly motivated candidate with a background in population genetics/genomics. The VGL is dedicated to research and training in the areas of population & molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics of insect vectors of human and animal disease. We have developed a program aimed at expanding knowledge that may be applied to improving control of disease vectors and that also addresses problems of interest in the field of evolutionary genetics. See details at: https://vectorgeneticslab.ucdavis.edu/
Science Visitor and Colloquium Program – Earth Science Seminar
Adaptation of Aedes aegypti in California: Understanding the Genomic Basis of Adaptation and Predicting Adaptive Genetic Variation under Projected Future Climates Based on Multivariate Models
Presented by Shaghayegh Soudi
Post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Virtual Event starts at 3:00 P.M.
Population differentiation (PD) and ecological association (EA) tests have recently emerged as prominent statistical methods to investigate signatures of local adaptation using population genomic data. Spatially varying selection triggers differential adaptation of local populations. Here, we mined the determinants of local adaptation at the genome-wide scale in an invasive species “Aedes aegypti”. A. aegypti is the yellow fever mosquito, a mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, Mayaro and yellow fever viruses, and other disease agents. In the summer of 2013, A. aegypti Linnaeus was first detected in three cities in central California (Clovis, Madera and Menlo Park). It has now been detected in multiple locations in central and southern California as far south as San Diego and Imperial Counties. A number of published reports suggest that California populations have been established from multiple independent introductions. We analyzed 1,272,134 SNPs identified from whole genome sequencing data from twelve populations of A. aegypti distributed in California to identify evidence of adaptation using three different genome scan methods. We have found some genes relevant to thermal tolerance such as heat shock proteins by all three methods. In addition, the outbreak risk of invasive species caused by rapid climatic shifts requires accurate models for predicting species’ responses. Despite evidence that evolutionary adaptation could mitigate climate change impacts, evolution is rarely integrated into predictive models. Integrating population genomics and environmental data, we are now trying to identify genomic variation associated with climate across the distribution range of A. aegypti in California.
About the Speaker
Dr. Soudi received a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Bielefeld University, in Bielefeld, Germany. After a two-year post-doctoral scholarship in bio-computational molecular evolution at the Biological Sciences department of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, Dr. Soudi joined Prof. Greg Lanzaro’s lab at U.C. Davis, where she is working on a landscape genetics project examining populations of Aedes aegypti in California, as well as the UCI Malaria Initiative.
JPL Contacts: If you would like to meet (remotely) with the speaker, please contact Ziad Haddad (4-1218).
Meeting number (access code): 199 187 7518
Meeting password: baodai
The following news stories were published about Hanno’s Nature Communications paper:
ACAD PRG MGT OFCR 3 (Scientific Program Manager)
Under general direction of the Principal Investigator, develop, implement and provide ongoing scientific expertise, direction and management of multiple, large and complex, international scientific research programs impacting the overall success of a multi-campus, interdepartmental, global health malaria research project in selected field sites in Africa (specifically the Union of the Comoros and the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe). Assist and support the PI in planning and coordinating the scientific research aspects of the program and will work directly with individual post-doctoral researchers in ensuring the timely completion of individual components of the research agenda. Identify program objectives and strategies, manage very significant human, financial, and physical resources, and will function with a high degree of autonomy. Manage program timelines and deliverables, develop written reports, scientific papers, and presentations, and represent the program for diverse audiences. Collaborate, and work in partnership with, the Engagement Program Manager and Field Station Manager(s) at the African field sites.
Dr. Lanzaro has posted a blog post for Hanno’s Nature Communications paper here https://go.nature.com/3dZOoIB
Hanno’s paper Abundance of conserved CRISPR-Cas9 target sites within the highly polymorphic genomes of Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoeshas been published in Nature Communications. Congrats Hanno!
The city of Davis has issued a shelter in place request due to the COVID-19 virus. Up to date information can be found on the UC Davis coronavirus information page and the VetMed Coronavirus Resources page
Due to the COVID-19 virus and the resulting travel restrictions, the Vector Genetics lab has canceled the planned travel to São Tomé and Príncipe and greatly curtailed work in the Comoros. Planning these trips takes a large amount of effort from most of our team and, while we are disappointed by the delay, we are hopeful that all our teams and partners both in the US and abroad remain healthy and that we will be able to re-schedule all travel soon.
Greg is a confirmed speaker at the upcoming World Malaria Day Symposium on Malaria Vector Biology and Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, 24 April 2020. Registration for this event is free.
A few members of the VGL team are traveling to the Comoros islands for a month to collect mosquitoes for the UCIMI project.
Dr. Yoosook Lee is representing the VGL at the PacVec annual meeting hosted by UC Riverside
Several VGL team members are attending the UCIMI annual meeting in Irvine, CA. Greg Lanzaro will present about our team’s work over the past year.
The VGL team traveled to São Tomé and Príncipe in December. While there we signed a partnership agreement with the local government and started collecting mosquitoes for the UCIMI project. We are very excited to continue our work there in 2020!
We are sad to say goodbye to insectary manager Kendra Person, postdoc Hanno Schmidt, and lab manager Allison Weakley. We wish them the best of luck for their futures!
Welcome aboard to our new hires! Postdocs: Melina Campos and Shaghayegh Soudi and community engagement staff: Ana Kormos and Joyce Imafidon.
Good luck to all our departing undergraduates, Parker Houston, Seerat Randhawa, and Mirsha Torres! We wish you the best of luck in your careers and education.
We are sad to say goodbye to postdoc Oscar Kirstein. We wish him the best of luck at his new position at Emory University!
Anopheles introgression in Burkina Faso paper published online. Congrats to all VGL members and alumni involved.
We are happy to welcome Travis Collier and Marc Crepeau to the VGL team!
Parker Houston has been awarded an Undergraduate Travel Award for his travel to the ABRCMS Conference in November where he presented his poster “Design of a Multiplex SNP Assay for the Detection of Four Different Arboviruses Transmitted by Aedes Mosquitoes”
Bioinformatics Programmer at the University of California, Davis
Under general direction of the PI, responsible for program installation, writing data conversion scripts and pipelines for processing genome sequence data. Oversee large scale analysis of high throughput sequencing data. Maintain managed sites and data backup servers. Responsible for customization of existing tools for population genomics data analysis. Resolve web production issues and implement web architecture updates. Responsible for website management and support.
The VGL has received permission from the government in São Tomé and Príncipe to begin initial mosquito collections for the UCIMI project. Greg and several other team members will be making multiple trips to São Tomé and Príncipe in 2019. Photos to come!
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position in Population Genomics at the University of California, Davis
The Vector Genetics Lab (VGL) at the University of California, Davis has a post-doctoral position available for a highly motivated candidate with a background in population genomics. The VGL is dedicated to research and training in the areas of population & molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics of insect vectors of human and animal disease. We have developed a program aimed at expanding knowledge that may be applied to improving control of disease vectors and that also addresses problems of interest in the field of evolutionary genetics. See details at: https://vectorgeneticslab.ucdavis.edu/
Mark Hanemaaijer has left the VGL to move back to the Netherlands with his fiancé. Congratulations Mark and we wish you all the best on your new adventures!
Parker Houston has been awarded a Provost Undergraduate Fellowship. Congrats Parker!
Greg’s talk on Ecological considerations for gene drive systems is published online from HSTalks. The link is available from the Reports & Press tab of the Publications page. Other talks within the series are presented by some of our collaborators.
Mark Hanemaaijer won second place for best talk at the UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium. Congratulations Mark!
Parker Houston was selected to give an oral presentation at the UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference. Attendance is free and open to the public. Parker will be speaking on Saturday, April 28th.
Anopheles coluzzii paper published in Parasites & Vectors.
Mark Hanemaaijer and Parker Houston’s paper was published in F1000 Research. Congrats Mark and Parker!
DARPA Safe Genes project begins: The Vector Genetics Lab is part of a large collaboration with several other UC teams on a project to study gene drive in local mosquito populations.
UCIMI project is established: The Vector Genetics Lab will be a part of a project aimed at testing genetically modified mosquitoes in field sites around Africa.
Laura’s paper is published in PNAS! Congratulations, Laura!
Here are some buzz about this article:
The Verge covers Norris et al. 2015 PNAS paper.
Smithsonian.com Smart News covers Norris et al. 2015 PNAS paper.
Science 2.0 covers Norris et al. 2015 PNAS paper.
The Davis Enterprise covers Norris et al. 2015 PNAS paper.
BioMed Central Open Data Award: Yoosook Lee wins the first Open Data Award with her publication at the Malaria Journal published in 2009 at the BioMed Central’s 4th Annual Research Awards.
2010 Entomological Society of America Professional Awards: Yoosook Lee wins the Journal of Medical Entomology Editor’s Choice Award at the 58th Annual ESA Meeting (Lee et al. 2009. JME).
BioMed Central Press Release: BioMed Central celebrates excellence in open access publishing.
Microsoft Research Connections Blog: Post about the First Open Data Award sponsored by Microsoft.
Science in the Open (Cameron Neylon Blog): The BMC 10th Anniversary Celebrations and Open Data Prize.
EurekAlert Coverage of the 4th BioMed Central Annual Research Awards : BioMed Central celebrates excellence in open-access publishing.